New Report About Ben Carson’s Past at Yale Seems to Prove That He’s a Serial Liar

ben-carson-yale-Fresh off the heels of his West Point lie being exposed by Politico, the Wall Street Journal has revealed new allegations that another story included in Ben Carson’s book doesn’t appear to be true either.


In his book Gifted Hands, Carson wrote about an incident at Yale where students were told that an exam they took for a class he called “Perceptions 301” had inadvertently burned, requiring each student to retake the exam. Only this time the exam was “incredibly difficult, if not impossible” according to Carson, prompting every single student (around 150 of them) to give up on the exam and walk out – except him, of course. He claims it was a test of the “most honest” student and he was rewarded with $10 from his professor and his picture taken by the Yale Daily News.

Without knowing anything more, that story sounds completely absurd. Maybe I’m missing the point, but I’m not sure how giving up on an unfair exam exemplifies the “honesty” of a student. So the professor wanted to test how “honest” each student was by lying to them about what happened to their original exams? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I’m not sure how it’s being “dishonest” to be upset that an exam you took (and might have felt you did very well on) was lost, only to be replaced by a much more difficult version. That seems like a very legitimate gripe if you ask me.

Then again, that would require this story to be true, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Like so many of Ben Carson’s other tall tales, there seems to be almost no evidence that this event ever took place.

According to the Wall Street Journal, no photograph of Carson exists in the newspaper’s archives and a Yale librarian said that no course titled “Perceptions 301” was offered while he was a student.

When CBS News sought comment from the Carson campaign, a spokesmen essentially dismissed the question, saying, “I don’t see anything to respond to. So Dr. Carson got the title of the class wrong?”

Predictably dismissive, not a shock.

The problem here is, this is not about one story. The GOP presidential frontrunner has a growing list of events from his past that have come under scrutiny recently, many of which seem to point toward deception. Not only that, but this report comes on the heels of the Politico story that factually caught Carson misinterpreting being offered a full scholarship to West Point – a lie he doubled down on even after he was confronted with the facts.


The problem here is the pathological nature of Ben Carson’s lies. It seems that Carson is someone who likes to embellish stories about his past, or flat-out make up lies about them, to make himself seem like a strong, honest leader who has more integrity and a higher moral code than everyone else. That’s a legitimate problem – especially since Carson has not only profited from these lies, but is now running for president.

Let me put the West Point and Yale stories into perspective.

Here are two stories that make Ben Carson seem like this great leader who rose to the ranks of a student offered a full scholarship to West Point, who then went on to Yale where he was the only student to stay for an exam he described as nearly “impossible” which he claims turned out to be a test of a person’s character.

Meanwhile, he was never offered a scholarship to West Point, and according to sources at Yale, there’s no record of the class Carson describes or the photo he allegedly took for the school’s newspaper.

Again, it’s not so much the lies themselves that are the issue, it’s the fact that there’s clearly a pattern of Ben Carson fabricating events from his past to make himself seem like something he isn’t. Then it’s not just that he appears to have fabricated these tales, it’s that he continues to insist that they’re true – even when confronted with evidence that disproves them.

While I know most of his supporters are too gullible to care about this, Ben Carson’s lies do matter. His campaign doesn’t seem like it’s going to survive the media’s scrutiny. It’s one thing to get away with a few lies when you’re just trying to sell books or give speeches, but it’s quite another when you’re running for President of the United States.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Linda Allen

    Can we compare the footprints on his BC to see if his name is even Ben Carson?

  • Mark Schmidt

    It is VERY REPUBLICAN to accuse Obama of all sorts of ridiculous things, all PROVED false, while being outraged at the proven lies told by Dr. Carson…He has evidently been doing this for many years.Lying to sell a book makes Carson another Bill O’Reilly, but lying to become president makes him the wrong guy for the job automatically.

  • Joe Fox

    Allen – the politico story was deeply flawed. There’s something to the West Point story, for sure. It was overstated and inflated, and points to a bigger issue – but Politico broke a few fair play rules to make that story and it’s damaging the fair challenge being made against Carson. There are plenty of reasons to call out this charlatan without resorting to intellectual dishonesty ourselves.

    • dave

      Deeply flawed? No, the flaw was in the details. Not important, however, as Carson DID lie about being offered a slot at West Point. Some may not care, but all who served should care very much.

      • Larry Fleisher

        stolen valor?

      • dave

        That is one way to look at it. West Point is extremely difficult to get into, and even more difficult to complete. To lie and say that he was offered a spot there is offensive to all who tried and did not make it, as well as all who graduated (my humble opinion).

      • Larry Fleisher

        i agree…i find it insulting to those that attended any of the schools or any of us grunts who served. enlisted or commissioned he owes an apology and to have picked westmoreland as the luncheon partner. yuck!

      • strayaway

        The (revised) original Politico story’s preface says that “POLITICO’s reporting established that Carson said he received a “full scholarship” from West Point, in writing and in public speeches over the years.” Help me out here. I can’t find any such quotes from Carson in writing. Since you are certain he lied, please provide a sample quote by Carson, in writing, establishing that Carson said he received a “full scholarship”.

        I’m also curious why a world class brain surgeon would need to make up such a story. It wasn’t like he was a community organizer or something. Carson was a real brain surgeon.

      • buzzards27

        In his book.

        But you’re ignoring the bigger lie. Westmoreland was not in Detroit on Memorial Day in 1969 to make that offer.

      • strayaway

        Have you found the original Carson quote yet stating that he received a “full scholarship” from West Point; the one in writing that Politico claims to have cited? i can sidestep that too. If I want really big lies, I could cite other politicians who claimed there were WMDs in Iraq or that you can keep your doctor or the promise about taking troops out of Iraq “immediately” when elected. But sticking to this small lie, was it Carson who lied or the political hack activist writer at Politico who lied?

    • buzzards27

      Only thing deeply flawed is Uncle Ben’s story. Westmoreland was not even in Detroit on Memorial Day 1969. The tall tale was made up. Minor mistakes in how Politico investigated and disclosed the fabrication doesn’t take away from the fact that Uncle Ben is a serial liar.

      • strayaway

        “Minor mistakes in how Politico investigated and disclosed the fabrication”. I get it. Politico makes “minor mistakes” and Carson makes “fabrication(s).” Spin, spin, spin…

        Could it be that the witch* hunt is on because Carson does better against Hillary than any other Republican candidate?

        *not meant as a reference to any Democratic candidate.

      • buzzards27

        Again, Uncle Ben’s story is a fabrication, Westmoreland was not there.

      • strayaway

        So you found the obscure quote? I never mentioned Detroit, Memeorial Day, whatever. I’m still wondering about the basis, in writing, of Politico’s first story.

  • Edward Krebbs

    Add to this the news reports from today on local news from AP. First line: WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson says questions about his veracity are irrelevant to the nation’s search for the next president.

    Now how is the honesty of a candidate not relevant ? Even if that was just a poor choice of words, it doesn’t speak well for Carson.

    BTW – Local news station is heavily conservative, part of Sinclair Broadcasting (which has been known to pull some dirty tricks to favor the conservatives)

  • Ronda Janell Wintheiser

    If Carson is a serial liar… Then he has the experience and qualifications to be a great politician.

  • Right_by_Choice
    • buzzards27

      And what does this have to do with it? It is a syllabus for a 2002 course, not the imaginary course uncle ben took years ago.

  • roxymartin

    Carsons supporters are the ones that instead got a lobotomy from him when he was supposed to be removing a tumor

    • strayaway

      Maybe that’s why they turned Democrat.

      • roxymartin

        There is not one single Democrat that supports that man.